If you are looking for an album of pure, irresistible, and thrilling heavy metal than the self-titled debut album from Freedoms Reign is a must. Certainly the release is not going to send you into new undiscovered adventures but for insatiable and uncompromising rock n roll, it is a riot to devour with greed.
Formed by original Fates Warning guitarist Victor Arduini in 2011, Freedoms Reign is his return to metal since leaving former band in 1985 after the release of The Spectre Within. Alongside the vocalist/guitarist the band consists of guitarist Tommy Vumback, bassist Michael Jones, and Chris Judge on drums. It is a formidable unit with a sound to match, the Connecticut quartet fusing old school metal with an energy and breath borne of the now. Released via Cruz Del Sur, the Nick Belmore (Toxic Holocost/Hatebreed) produced album is a brawl of energetic intensity and hungry passion sounding like the incendiary offspring of Sabbath, Kyuss, and QOTSA with a loud whisper of Fates Warming to it too. It is a scintillating ride of compelling rhythms, greedy rapacious riffs, and pure adrenaline honed into one tempest of contagious might.
From the moment Ritual flies at the ear with thumping drums, leering basslines, and flesh chewing riffs the sense of something beyond pleasing is rife. It may only be a few seconds in but there is a feel and strength to the opening invitational assault which inspires immediate attention complete with a hope soaked grin. The track gets to work upon the passions with driving rhythms and sonic spirals of invention within the course of infectious riffing and alongside the drawing vocals of Arduini. It is expressive rock n roll with a mischief to its invention and adventure to its imagination. There is arguably nothing new on show but equally there are few rivals to its almost exhausting passion and high intensity realisation of existing aural weaponry.
From the extremely impressive start both Shadows Of A Doubt and Brother confirm the instant emotion about the album. The first of the two enslaves the senses with a rampant onslaught of intensive riffs with rhythms just as merciless whilst the vocals seal the deal with their persuasive earnestness. In many ways the track reminds of early Therapy? in the way its relentlessness comes with a hook laden intrigue and contagious forcefulness yet is enriched with flourishing melodic enterprise to temper and reinforce the temptation at large. The second of the two is a less imposing but equally as dramatic encounter with the lyrical narrative and thrilling solo leading the track into deeper ardour. Again with a greed which drives it on with no respect for allowing a breather for the listener, the song is an infectious enticement into what at this point already is a more than pleasing companion.
The outstanding Believe asserts its authority next with both Judge and Jones taking command of the senses with demanding beats and a throaty beast of a heavy riff respectively whilst around them the guitars scour the ear with caustic persistence. It is a rampaging storm of excellence ridden by the again impressive vocals. Bone splitting slaps posing as breaks herald the start of a great guitar solo whilst the bestial tones of the bass prowl and resonate through the ear drum, their impact as rich and compelling as the furnace of energy which thrusts the song forward from first note to last. Easily one of the biggest highlights on the album the track is the perfect way to leap into the release for newcomers, though any song can fit the role to be fair.
The likes of Up From Down with its doom laded presence and weighty intensity, the openly seductive To Be with its wanton harmonies and crunchy textures not forgetting corrosive sonic veining which ignites all the passions, and Long Way with its emotive shadows and impossibly absorbing sounds, all enslave the senses and emotions in very individual but equally virulent ways whilst in amongst them No Excuses unleashes another pinnacle upon the album. A ferocious blend of aggressive inventive rhythms and snarling riffs seduce the appetite into a rabid devouring of the offering whilst the broody grizzled bass tones make the prefect ally and temper to the warm expressive vocals, whilst the guitars especially in their solos, just ignite a sweltering enthrallment.
Looking Around completes the release with an opening almost chilling embrace, the guitars carving emotive lines in its air whilst the bass and vocals sculpt their own unique voices within the emerging narrative. As mesmeric as it is potently haunting, with muscular crescendos to intimidate, the track builds up an atmosphere of inevitability yet stands in its way by erupting into an explosive landscape of sinew framed intensity with a sizzling flesh burning solo surrounded by impressive vocals harmonies centre stage. It is a deliciously imaginative and skilfully painted experience which sums up the whole of the album in its majestic way. Arduini may have been away for a long while but with equally accomplished colleagues he has returned with what will be one of the best albums this year.
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